TUCSON, Ariz (KGUN9-TV) - Day laborers are "laboring" to find work since the passage of Arizona's strict new immigration law, according to numerous civil rights groups. So, today, one of the biggest, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), filed a motion in a Phoenix U.S. District Court to block two more parts of SB1070.
"We filed a motion today asking Judge Susan Bolton to enjoin or block provisions 5a and 5b of SB1070 which basically applies to the solicitation of employment," explained Alessandra Soler Mettes, Executive Director of Arizona's ACLU.
Those two provisions make it harder for day laborers to look for work, and punishes employers who hire illegal immigrants.
"What are the conditions like currently for these day laborers?" KGUN9 asked workers' rights activist, Salvador Reza, "Oh, they're just really, really bad. We're getting reports everyday of people not getting paid. And, when they want to go get their wages they (employers) basically tell them, you know what, if you don't leave the place, I'm going to call (Sheriff) Joe Arpaio. I'm going to call the police and (the government) will deport you," said Reza.
State Senator Frank Antenori told KGUN9 the problem lies with the workers and where they're looking for work. And, not the law, "If they weren't getting paid under the table and they got a legitimate job with a legitimate employer, and they had the proper paper documentation and were put on the payroll they wouldn't have that issue," said Antenori.
Meanwhile, the ACLU says the real issue is the First Amendment, or free speech, which entitles day laborers to ask for jobs, "We are arguing in this motion that day laborers have the right to solicit employment and that this provision is unconstitutional," added Soler Mettes.
"They're in the country illegally, they broke the law. The law says that you have to have permission to enter the country and if you don't you're illegally here. So why would you have then a constitutional right to assemble and ask for a job? I don't get it," concluded Antenori.
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